I was the lucky one in my family because I was the first-born to my parents and the first grandchild on my Mom’s side of the family.It was probably my saving grace because most of my life I hated being at home. There was fighting and drunken stepfathers beating on my mother and the fear my sisters and I had to live with was daily in our teen years. Every day was protection of the little ones and combating for yourself.Secrets and scandal was the things we lived with trying to protect each other and keep our mother safe. It was hard for me to grasp that some men were so cruel after having a Daddy that loved us and our mother.My Aunt Mike told me that Daddy said he loved Mom so much he hoped he died first because he could never bury her. With that he got his wish far to soon. I am just sorry that the littler girls don’t have much of a memory of a father’s love because it is a beautiful thing and one I cherish. Instead they probably remember men trying to break our back door down when Mom finally had enough or watching as another one tried to throw me down the steps because I refused to hoe the rock hard garden that was full of weeds. I got to the point that nothing scared me as I got older because it was easy to defend myself against a drunk passed out on the grass with bubbles spewing out of his mouth. I just hoped at that moment he would die and do us all a favor. Then there were the friends he had. You never knew what would happen. We left to stay at my uncle’s house and came home to a house full of beer cans in the bathtub and all of our furniture sold. He even took my mom’s wedding ring from my dad. People really don’t care that a mother with six kids don’t have furniture or a washing machine if the price is right.
The reason I write this today is not because I care anymore, I don’t. God has given me a life I could only imagine when I was young. Hungarian Work Horse had his work cut out for him when we met. I didn’t trust any man and this guy showed me what unconditional love is. Warts and all,fear and baggage, didn’t stop him from saying yes when I asked him to marry me at sixteen. People thought it wouldn’t last over forty years ago and you never know maybe it won’t but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it if I were you. Yesterday a song came on the radio called HEY PRETTY GIRL and as the guy was crooning he grabbed my hand.He loves me that much. And I love him even more.
If you are with somebody that doesn’t treat you like that you are cheating yourself and if you have kids you are giving them something even worse. My heart still pounds when I think of the treatment my mother got from some of those jerks. I wish I had never seen it. Take the opportunity to make you and your kid’s life something that I have now. It is wonderful. I keep thinking of that movie The Help when the maid tells the little girl you is important. I know I am now but growing up if it wouldn’t have been for my Grandma Jahr I don’t know if I would ever have believed that. Little kids need their grandmas and aunts and uncles and usually these men don’t want them to be around their family. You remember how they treat your mother. They take your money and your self-confidence. They leave you empty and that is their intent. They want you to think you owe them and that you deserve the treatment they give you. They don’t want to work and they don’t have to because they have your mom’s social security check. Staying with somebody like that is suicide on your part. Imagine how your little one feels when all the yelling and swearing is going on. You think it doesn’t affect them? Call me or anyone of my sisters and we will give you the truth.
Please think carefully about your life. It is something you pass down to your kids no matter how little they are. Let their legacy be one of a papa holding a nana’s hand because a song made him do so. Of a step-dad like Ward that after so many years showed me how you can love somebody that isn’t your kid and be friends just because you like each other. He was a grandpa that my kids are proud of. He is the one they remember not the one that drove his pick up into the ditch in front of our house because he was mad and threw a temper tantrum. My sisters and I know about fights and tempers but we have a miracle glue that holds us together: Love. I am proud of my family and what we stand for. My little grand kids love my sisters as much as they love me and they are with them anytime they want, because we have that loving glue. I know it is hard but be brave because your children deserve it.
If you know anybody that is being abused, please hold out your hand. Don’t be afraid. Hold them up in prayer or what ever it is that gives you strength. I love it that now I can grab a sister and laugh like a hyena. Life is so good.
Liz Kovach is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and most importantly a Nana. She loves her family with all of my heart and started her blog, thekovies, because she wanted to record memories for her grandkids. Liz’s dad was killed when her Mom was still in her twenties with five little girls to raise. She refuses to let the bad take over the good in all things and wants to instill that in her own family. She works in the automobile industry and mostly love her job.